Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy versus Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy for Localised Prostate Cancer: a Cost-Utility Analysis

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2017 Nov;29(11):718-731. doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2017.08.002. Epub 2017 Sep 12.


Aims: To conduct a cost-utility analysis comparing stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) with low dose rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT) for localised prostate cancer (PCa).

Materials and methods: A decision-analytic Markov model was developed from the healthcare payer perspective to simulate the history of a 66-year-old man with low-risk PCa. The model followed patients yearly over their remaining lifetimes. Health states included 'recurrence-free', 'biochemical recurrence' (BR), 'metastatic' and 'death'. Transition probabilities were based on a retrospective cohort analysis undertaken at our institution. Utilities were derived from the literature. Costs were assigned in 2015 Canadian dollars ($) and reflected Ontario's health system and departmental costs. Outcomes included quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. A willingness-to-pay threshold of $50 000/QALY was used.

Results: SBRT was the dominant strategy with 0.008LYs and 0.029QALYs gained and a reduction in cost of $2615. Under base case conditions, our results were sensitive to the BR probability associated with both strategies. LDR-BT becomes the preferred strategy if the BR with SBRT is 1.3*[baseline BR_SBRT] or if the BR with LDR-BT is 0.76*[baseline BR_LDR-BT]. When assuming the same BR for both strategies, LDR-BT becomes marginally more effective with 0.009QALYs gained at a cost of $272 848/QALY.

Conclusions: SBRT represents an economically attractive radiation strategy. Further research should be carried out to provide longer-term follow-up and high-quality evidence.

Keywords: Cost–utility; low dose rate brachytherapy; prostate cancer; stereotactic body radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / economics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Radiosurgery / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies